Autism Interview #99 Part 1: C.L. Lynch on Self-Awareness and How We Describe Autism

C. L. Lynch is a novelist and autistic advocate from Vancouver. Her breakout novel Chemistry came about from the intention to write a book that was “the exact opposite of Twilight.” She also writes about her recent autism diagnosis and advocates for improved autism awareness and understanding. This is the first part of a two-part interview with C. L. Lynch in which she discusses her personal diagnosis story, how her diagnosis changed her marriage, and why she advocates for a complete overhaul in autism severity labeling (beyond merely avoiding “high” and “low” functioning labels).

The Problem with Autism Labels

“Your son’s test results are consistent with a classic autism diagnosis.”

I stared at the psychologist and waited for her to continue. But she didn’t.

“Is it PDD-NOS? Or Asperger’s?” I asked.

“No,” she continued. “In order to be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he can’t have a language delay, which he clearly has. And he has enough symptoms that fall into the classic autism category of the spectrum.”